The government has constituted yet another committee to resolve the dispute over auction of third generation (3G) advanced services mobile phone licences.
The cabinet committee, which was constituted by the prime minister to examine the auction of 3G spectrum and the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) with Etisalat, met here on Friday with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the chair.
Sources said that pros and cons of the auction of 3G spectrum were discussed during the meeting. It was decided that a subcommittee would be formed, which would look into the details of the matter.
They said that there were differences over the interpretation of an agreement between Pakistan and the international telecom player reached at the time of the sale of shares of the state-owned
The telecom giant was of the opinion that Pakistan could not sell a new telecom licence for any spectrum until seven years, which would end in March 2013.
The government has taken the position that 3G licence is not something new, but actually an extension of existing services. It has also a different interpretation of the time limit.
The issue of the long distance and international (LDI) licence to China Mobile also came under discussion during the meeting. The finance minister said that the Ministry of Information Technology could negotiate with Etisalat for granting the licence to China Mobile.
With regard to the transfer of PTCL properties to the provinces and departments concerned, the meeting participants were told that out of 3,248 properties of PTCL, 3,101 properties had been transferred to the provinces and the departments concerned.
The finance minister directed the secretary of the Ministry of Information Technology to prepare a report about the rest of the properties, which would be sent to the prime minister for further action.
Shaikh also approved recommendations about the wireless local loop auction and its policy directives.
The finance secretary, Planning Commission’s deputy chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman and
senior officials from Etisalat and the Ministry of Information Technology were also present in the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ